Below is a random collection of recent oddities from my students in Hong Kong…
Exhibit A: Check out the photo of what little Charles here came up with. Asked where he’d like to live in the world, the little charmer/teacher’s pet decided on ‘Tom’s Heart’ – and who wouldn’t want to set up camp in such a warm, hospitable and splendid location? Prompted to justify his laudable choice, he poetically writes that “it is beautiful, it is quiet”… Indeed, I like to think my heart if far from ugly and loud, however in the next section, the little sod lists what possessions he’d like to take along with him… “A gun (AK47), Wesley and rubbish.” Note how the child went to the trouble of listing the exact specification of armament required, and not only chose to bring along his mate Wesley but also a load of trash to throw around the place. Now I’ll be damned if I’m gonna allow a 7-year-old Chinese kid to barge into my coronary regions and start going nuts with a firearm and his best buddy whilst lobbing litter about…
Whilst many of Hong Kong’s teachers agreed with the recent education bureau’s reforms, they and their unions felt the changes were being imposed too quickly, without the appropriate resources or consulation. Teachers were calling for smaller class sizes and a lighter workload rather than more work and exams.
– 730 and Sing Tao coverage – click to view
Attending a rally on 23/1/06 with International Action, we found that our best reaction came from the teachers themselves. Every school employs Western English teachers though – aside from us – none appeared to turn out, thus, we were applauded for showing support and solidarity.
– Ming Pao and Apple Daily coverage – click to view
15,000 teachers and supporters marched. Education secretary Fanny Law said that two suicides indicated only two people were upset about reforms. We wanted to highlight that behind two suicides you may have dozens of people ‘on the edge’, hundreds depressed and thousands stressed out. Our signs, in Cantonese, read ‘No more suicides – how many more teachers on the edge?’